Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Pentagon greenlights sale of next gen air-to-ground missiles to the UK

The U.S. State Department has given its approval for a potential Foreign Military Sale of Joint Air-to-Ground Missiles (JAGM) to the Government of the United Kingdom, marking a significant boost to the nation’s defense capabilities.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the Pentagon’s top arms broker, formally certified this potential sale to Congress on Monday.

The United Kingdom has expressed its intent to procure three thousand (3,000) Joint Air-to-Ground Missiles (JAGM), specifically the AGM-179A variant. Additionally, the sale encompasses dummy missiles, technical assistance, publications, integration support, and other related logistical and program support elements. The estimated total program cost amounts to $957.4 million.

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JAGM represents a new generation of versatile multi-sensor air-to-ground missiles that is compatible with the M299 launcher and, with suitable integration enhancements, can be used across various platforms, including air, ground, and maritime, that are currently equipped with HELLFIRE or Longbow missiles.

JAGM leverages its dual-mode seeker in tandem with the proven HELLFIRE missile bus to elevate precision engagement to new heights. The dual-mode sensor boasts improved Semi-Active Laser (SAL) and millimeter-wave (MMW) radar sensors, providing enhanced precision strike capabilities. It offers fire-and-forget capability against stationary, moving, land, maritime, and even airborne targets, substantially enhancing battlefield performance. This dual-mode seeker empowers JAGM users to engage multiple targets with greater precision, even in adverse weather conditions and obscured battlefield environments, thus enhancing user survivability and effectiveness.

JAGM introduces greater uniformity across rotor-wing and fixed-wing platforms within the U.S. military services, including the AH-64, MQ-1C, AH-1Z, and potentially MQ-9, MH-60R/S, LCS, and M-SHORAD. JAGM offers elevated lethality and operational adaptability for all platforms.

On August 30, 2022, the U.S. Army granted approval for the JAGM system to enter full-rate production (FRP). This decision reflects the maturation of the JAGM program and the Army’s confidence in the long-term production and sustainability of JAGM. The FRP decision empowers Lockheed Martin to produce the JAGM system in higher quantities for its customers without restrictions. This milestone also marks the successful completion of operational testing of JAGM on the U.S. Army’s AH-64E Apache and the Marine Corps’ AH-1Z Viper helicopters.

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About author:

Emily Ryan Miller
Emily Ryan Miller
Emily Ryan Miller is an experienced journalist with excellent analytical skills and a deep understanding of military affairs. With her professional diligence and passion for the defense theme, Emily continues to inform the world about important aspects of the military sphere and deeply understands the significance of researching and tracking military events for the public and national security.

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